LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY (PIX11)– The Kentucky Derby kicked off on Saturday. Horse racing fans arrived early at Churchill Downs for the 139th running of the Kentucky derby.
Enthusiasts clad in ponchos found the perfect spot spread out their blankets and pop open their coolers until the races began.
More than 150-thousand spectators showed up to the one of the nation’s most popular horse races.
With big crowds came big security. Before being allowed in, people had to go through Kentucky National Guardsmen.
The guardsmen searched bags and scanned race-goers with metal detectors.
Before the event, the track banned backpacks and large purses. Even umbrellas were not allowed in.
Where there is horse racing, there is sure to be betting and where there is betting; there are big bucks on the line.
The Kentucky Derby purse is guaranteed for at least two-million-dollars, with the winner netting more than a million.
The race is scheduled to start just before 6:30 p.m.